A Chicago man was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison Tuesday for inciting and participating in looting during the civil unrest that gripped the city in August 2020, including a break-in at a marijuana dispensary.
James Massey, 23, pleaded guilty earlier this year to incitement of a riot, admitting in a plea agreement with prosecutors that he posted multiple videos and messages on Facebook calling for people to travel to downtown Chicago to engage in property damage and looting.
Massey was later captured on surveillance video helping to loot and destroy four businesses, including a West Loop cellphone store and the Windy City Cannabis marijuana dispensary on the Near North Side.
The sentence was among the more significant penalties handed down in Chicago’s federal court so far stemming from the civil unrest that broke out in cities across the country in the summer of 2020 following a series of high-profile police incidents, beginning with the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis in late May.
In rejecting a request by the defense for probation, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly said Tuesday that Massey did a disservice to the legitimate protesters who were trying to call attention to the issue of police misconduct.
Kennelly also acknowledged